Samantha Garst presents on Foreign Direct Investment at the ISA Conference

by roanokecollege on December 3, 2013


Samantha Garst recently travelled to the International Studies Association South Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC to present her research project, “Risky Business: A panel study of the effects of government policies on attraction of FDI in post-conflict countries.” For this project she

“aimed to give foreign government the policy-making tools to attract foreign capital when they needed it the most.”

Samantha started this research this past May in the Summer Scholars program. Dr. Andreea Mihalache-O’Keef was Samantha’s faculty advisor for this project and she explains that

“any time that I was experiencing trouble during the process, I felt more than comfortable going to her for help. It was interesting to have a question and be handed a book that would contain my answer. What helped me even more was that Dr. Mihalache-O’Keef would never give me out-right answers. She challenged me to critically think about my next steps—which gave me a plethora of ‘ah-ha’ moments throughout the summer.”


This was Samantha’s first time presenting her research and she felt that is was nerve-racking to present at an academic conference.

“I was worried about my paper being picked apart on small grammatical errors and to be asked questions I didn’t know the answer too. I was completely wrong. Presenting my research allowed me the opportunity to share my ideas to a group of people that were actually interested in what I had to say. Even more, I was given outside feedback on how to better improve my project for the future. It was more than helpful.”

Samantha’s advice to students considering research is to take the chance and research something that you love.

“Research is an extensive process and journey that seems to never end; ladled with many ups and downs. If you aren’t interested in what you’re researching, then you won’t enjoy one second of it. My advice, find what you love and delve into it. Don’t fear that you won’t have anyone to help. I’ve never had a professor at Roanoke College turn me away. Just put yourself out there. The skills that you will develop are irreplaceable.”

For more information on the ISA Conference please visit:

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